[Fix] Disabled all services in MSConfig (System Configuration utility)
This article describes restoring the device in case you accidentally disable all the services using the MSconfig utility, which in turn, ends up your PC being unable to start.
Disabling all services in MSConfig makes changes to the Registry i.e. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services. Each Service Subkey has a DWORD value for Start, which sets to 4, ending up being disabled. Some services are critical for Windows to run, and if they are disabled, the login is not successful.
When your PC cannot start on the login screen, you will see a message that something happened and your PIN is unavailable. As we can open Accessibility options from the lock screen view, we would replace the on-screen keyboard EXE with a Command prompt window to fix this problem. Subsequently, we will open MSConfig from there and undo the changes.
Enable all the services in System Configuration utility
To enable all the services disabled in the System Configuration utility, replace the OSK utility with a Command Prompt, which can be accessed from the sign in screen. From the Command Prompt, open MSConfig and enable all the services to restore the computer.
Applies to: Windows 11, Windows 10
Enabling services in MSConfig
First, you must start the system in the Windows recovery environment. See the following article to open the windows recovery environment.
Then, open a command prompt window in the Troubleshoot menu of the recovery environment.
Locate your Windows Installation drive. For that, enter the command BCDEDIT.
Look for the partition letter under Windows Boot loader. Note it.
Then, change the Directory of the command prompt from X:/Windows/System32 to Windows/System 32. These commands would do it. The Windows is in C drive in my case.
Now, to replace the On Screen keyboard app with a command prompt, use the following command to change OSK.exe into a temporary file.
ren osk.exe osk.exe.bak
Then, copy the command prompt to osk.exe so we can open it from the Lock screen.
copy cmd.exe osk.exe
Restart your PC normally.
Click the Accessibility icon on the bottom right, from where you can open the On Screen Keyboard. Then, select the same option – you might have to click it several times.
In the CMD Window, type MSConfig and press Enter.
Concurrently, undo the changes by clicking Enable all under services 🙂
Restart your computer, and your problem will be resolved. Additionally, rename the OSK application again to default.
To conclude, this workaround can help if your Windows is unable to start, in case mistakenly you disable all services in the System Configuration utility.